In findings by a customer data platform provider Twilo Segment, more than half of customers (56%) are more likely to return after receiving a personalized experience. According to the same report, even though the economy is going through a tough time, almost 69% of business leaders are still willing to invest more in personalization.
But, what does personalization really mean, what are the perks, and how can hotels make the most of it? Let’s find out.
What is a Personalization Strategy?
A personalization strategy is all about making each guest’s experience unique by catering to specific preferences and needs. This helps to increase satisfaction, foster loyalty, and ultimately result in repeat business.
Personalization is not a one-size-fits-all solution and is not limited to providing perks or benefits to guests. While benefits such as increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and repeat business are outcomes of a well-executed personalization strategy, the strategy itself is not solely focused on delivering these results. Rather, it encompasses a range of elements, including the collection and analysis of guest data, the use of technology to enhance the guest experience, and a commitment to respecting guest privacy and data security.
Personalization goes beyond surface-level gestures to create meaningful and memorable experiences that resonate with guests on a personal level. In essence, it’s not merely a business tactic, but rather a commitment to understanding and meeting the unique expectations of each guest throughout their stay.
As guest preferences and industry trends change over time, a personalization strategy requires continuous adaptation and refinement.
Why is a Personalization Strategy Important for Hotels?
Increased Guest Satisfaction: Catering to individual preferences can lead to higher levels of guest satisfaction as unique needs and expectations are met (or exceeded).
Repeat Business: Satisfied and loyal guests are more likely to become repeat customers, contributing to a stable and consistent stream of revenue.
Positive Online Reviews: Personalided experiences can lead to positive reviews and testimonials, which can, in turn, attract new customers and enhance the hotel’s online reputation.
Competitive Advantage: Hotels successfully implementing personalization strategies gain a competitive edge in the market, standing out among competitors and attracting a broader customer base.
Maximized Revenue: Personalization allows for targeted upselling and cross-selling opportunities, as hotels can recommend additional services or amenities based on individual guest preferences.
Effective Marketing: By understanding guest preferences and behaviours, hotels can create targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with specific segments of their customer base, leading to more effective and efficient marketing efforts.
Operational Efficiency: Personalization can streamline operational processes by anticipating guest needs and preferences, allowing for more efficient allocation of resources and staff.
Guest Engagement: Personalization encourages ongoing engagement with guests before, during, and after their stay, fostering a relationship that goes beyond a one-time transaction.
Data-Driven Decision-Making: The collection and analysis of guest data provides valuable insights that hotels can use to make informed decisions, optimize services, and adapt to changing trends.
Greater Adaptability to Trends: Personalization strategies enable hotels to stay current with industry trends and evolving guest preferences, ensuring offerings remain relevant and appealing.
Elements of a Successful Personalization Strategy
To create a successful personalization strategy, there are key elements that need to be considered;
Identifying Target Guest Segments
This involves understanding the various demographics of your guests, such as age, interests, location and lifestyle. Knowing your guests’ preferences and behaviours can help you tailor your guest experiences to these segments, allowing you to provide a more personalized and enjoyable experience.
Create a buyer persona to visually identify your target audience and map out their interests, pain points, and purchasing habits. Download iVvy’s buyer persona template here.
Setting Personalization Goals
Once you’ve identified your guest segments, it’s important to set clear personalization goals. These should align with your overall business objectives, whether it be to increase guest satisfaction, drive revenue, or improve brand reputation.
By setting specific and measurable goals, you can track the effectiveness of your personalized strategy and make necessary adjustments to achieve your goals. Use these metrics to help set personalization goals your venue performance.
Aligning Personalization with Brand Identity
Your brand should be reflected in every aspect of the guest experience, from hotel décor to amenities and marketing messaging. A consistent brand identity not only helps build trust with guests but also reinforces your hotel’s unique value proposition, helping you to stand out in a crowded market.
Technology and Tools for Personalization
Technology and tools also play a significant role in personalization, by collecting and analyzing guest data through various channels such as website analytics, social media, and venue booking software. This data can then be used to create personalized recommendations and offers, as well as improve operational efficiencies. However, it’s crucial to balance technology with human interaction to maintain a personal touch and avoid losing the human element in the guest experience.
If you’re looking for more information on using tech to boost your venue sales, click here.
The Athenaeum in London is taking personalized hospitality to a whole new level with the help of iVvy venue management software. Find out more.
Lauren Hall is the CEO and Founder of iVvy, a a renowned software company that provides automation and cloud-based technology to help venues fill their function calendars and planners create unforgettable events. Lauren’s passion for entrepreneurship and over 25 years of business management experience at the executive and board levels make her a highly successful businesswoman. She has built multiple companies from startup to strategic and financial exit in various industries, including manufacturing, retail, advertising and technology, both in South Africa and Australia. Lauren co-founded iVvy in 2009 and has since overseen its growth to 10,000+ clients in 13 countries, expanding to New Zealand, Asia, Europe and North America.
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